There's a disease that's running rampant these days. Seems like 90% of the population is already infected and it's on the rise.
...yet it goes unrecognized and unopposed. Why? Because it's a subtle disease of mind and attitude and stance toward life itself.
As with any disease, you need to know the symptoms. When you see somebody who's desperately trying to avoid getting "bruised" by life, getting hurt in any way, you found an infected person. If you ask a friend how they're doing and their answer is, "I'm coping," you've got another one. When you see somebody who doesn't have the "self-discipline" to stick to a good diet or exercise program, there's a third one for you. So just what is this disease of the mind?
It's a timid and defensive attitude toward life itself.
Now turn up your speakers as Al Pacino gives you the diagnosis and the cure in his famous monologue. Yeah, it's about football on the surface, but in fact it's a very profound message...
You see it in their faces... As Pacino says to his team, "We're in hell, gentlemen." When we adopt a defensive attitude and "hope" things won't go badly, we're setting ourselves up for failure. Deep down we're attracting that very failure to ourselves by our own weak and hesitant actions. There's a reason the SAS adopted the motto "Who dares, wins" - it's a proven fact of life. You'll see for yourself. Once you DECIDE to become brave and dauntless in your pursuit of excellence, most of your obstacles will crumble before you.
"Life is a game of inches," he tells the team. Yes. And as he says, those inches you need are EVERYWHERE around you. You really do have the time, energy and capability to make phenomenal progress. We all do. So why isn't that happening? Well, it goes back to basing our life on not wanting to get hurt, on defensiveness, on love of comfort and ease. Once we do that, we don't see these inches. We find excuses not to eat well, exercise, meditate, pray, read, show affection to others, work for a cause greater than ourselves... "I'm too tired." "Maybe later"...
Unless we start using those "inches" of time and opportunity that life is constantly showering us with, we will indeed wake up one day and realize we're in hell - a hell of our own making. In the words of a great spiritual master of the 20th century, unless we become determined to take action, the excuses coming from our love of comfort and ease will lull us into compromising our integrity until finally we're asleep on our feet.
"You have to be willing to die for that inch... because that's what living is!" If you're still concerned with your own fate, if you're still afraid of pain, then you'll never feel the real pulse of life within you. That's why every ancient spiritual tradition taught its disciples to expect hardship, to toughen their bodies and minds, to be utterly fearless, to persevere... because....
...you can't actually SURRENDER to the wonder of life until you do. That's right - if your stance toward life is untrusting and defensive, you can't possibly "surrender" and "bliss out". First, you need to become that brave and dauntless person who seizes life by the throat. You can't live unless you're willing to die at any moment - that's the unadulterated truth discovered and joyfully lived by countless people over dozens of centuries. Base your life on this truth and you won't go wrong.
So watch this a few times over the next few days, especially when you're feeling defeated or lethargic. Snap yourself out of it and take action!
~ Dr. Symeon Rodger